Australia has to release immigrants held in indefinite detention after a Landmark Court Order. The High Court reversed a controversial and decades-old policy regarding immigrant imprisonment.
After this decision of the court, Australia said on Friday that it will begin releasing immigrants imprisoned in indefinite detention.
This Monday, the High Court found that indefinite detention was “unlawful” if deportation was not an option. So it reversed the laws that had been the backbone of Australia’s strict immigration policies since 1992.
Australia tried to avoid new arrivals under the policy by threatening to imprison anyone who arrived without a visa regardless of their circumstances.
According to Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, one guy has already released due to the court verdict. And the Australian government will release other impacted individuals.
According to the Australian Federal Police, some 90 persons may be eligible for release because they cannot be deported to their native countries.
Under the center-left Labor government, Australia began mandatory detention of people coming without visas in 1992. Thousands of migrants who attempted to enter the country by boat were transferred to offshore detention centers on Manus. And the tiny nation of Nauru under the “Pacific Solution” policy.
In 2004, the High Court ordered the indefinite detention of non-citizens even if deportation was impossible. The government gradually reduced the practice of immigrant imprisonment after 14 detainee deaths. And an increasing number of suicide attempts, and at least six referrals to the International Criminal Court.
According to Human Rights Watch, the average immigration detainee in Australia is in custody for 708 days. And Australia has detained more than 120 people for more than five years.
The Australian government developed the policy in response to large numbers of people entering by boat from Vietnam, Cambodia, and China.
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